TCA Skin Peels

TCA Skin Peels

About the treatment

  • Chemical Skin Peel
  • Reduces the Appearance of Fine lines and  wrinkles
  • Reduction of Superficial Blemishes and Pigmentation
  • Reduction of Acne and Acne Scarring

What is a chemical skin peel?

A chemical skin peel is most commonly performed for cosmetic reasons to enhance appearance and self-confidence.  Chemical skin peel treatments may be performed in conjunction with other treatments.  However a chemical skin peel is not a substitute for a facelift and does not prevent or slow the ageing process.

Chemical skin peeling uses a chemical solution in order to improve the skin’s appearance.  It can reduce or eliminate fine lines under the eyes and around the mouth, correct uneven skin pigmentation, treat acne and soften the appearance of scars caused by acne.  The procedure can also reduce the appearance of wrinkles caused by sun damage, as well as skin blemishes common with age and heredity.  Chemical peels can be performed on the face, hands and all other body areas.

What conditions can improve with TCA skin peel treatment?

  • Age and liver spots (Lentigines) usually categorised by flat, brown areas with round edges usually found on the face, hands, back and feet.  They are age-related and photoageing related, and have nothing to do with the liver.  While they are unsightly, they are not usually dangerous.
  • Solar keratosis and hyperpigmented areas due to hormonal changes and photo damage.

What is TCA?

Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) can be successful in the:

  • reduction of smooth fine surface wrinkles
  • reduction of superficial blemishes
  • correction of pigment problems
  • reduction of acne/acne scarring

Anaesthesia is not required for TCA peels.  Two or more TCA skin peels may be required over several courses to obtain the desired improvements.

TCA skin peel patients are advised to avoid sun exposure and to use sun protection cream with a minimum SPF 30 for several weeks following treatment.  Failure to comply with this recommendation may produce some unintended colour changes in the skin.

Skin preparation may be required on darker skin tones and hyperpigmented areas.  This involves using a bleach and blend cream two weeks prior to TCA peels.  People with active acne also require skin preparation with the purifying cream two weeks prior to TCA skin peels.

How is treatment administered?

The procedure involves a chemical solution that is applied to the skin.  The solution causes the layer of skin to separate and peel off.  The new regenerated skin underneath is usually smoother, less wrinkled and more even in both tone and colour than the old skin.

How long will the treatment take?

Typically the skin is first thoroughly cleansed.  Then the cosmetic treatment practitioner will carefully apply the TCA solution.  You may feel a slight stinging sensation as the peel solution is applied, but the feeling will quickly pass.

A full-face TCA skin peel usually takes no more than 15 minutes.  Each course is four weeks with one peel each week.  Two or more courses of TCA skin peels may be needed to obtain the desired result, and may be spaced out over several months.

How can I find out if I am a candidate for treatment?

If you would like to learn more about available cosmetic treatment options, and find out if TCA skin peel treatment might work for you, please call and arrange an appointment for a consultation with the cosmetic treatment practitioner.

Are there any medical exclusions?

Pregnant or breastfeeding women should wait to the treated.  If you have a history of cold sores you should inform the doctor prior to the

procedure.  You may be better suited to an alternative treatment or product.  The cosmetic treatment practitioner will review your medical history during your initial consultation, prior to administering any treatment.

During your initial consultation it is important that you discuss your expectations with the cosmetic treatment practitioner.  Do not hesitate to ask any questions or express any concerns that you may have.  You will be able to ask any treatment related questions and the cosmetic treatment practitioner will explain the planned procedure in detail – including the risks and benefits, the recovery period, and the costs.

Possible side effects

All products have a potential for allergic reactions.  It is important that you inform the cosmetic treatment practitioner of any allergies you may have.

Transient reactions may include redness to the skin, itchiness, dryness and in some cases swelling.

It is common for most patients to experience transient hyperpigmentation.  This will settle during the course of treatment and with use of the appropriate treatment creams and sun protection.

Although very rare, in some cases there may be a risk of blistering.

Expected reactions immediately following a TCA skin peel

  • Slight redness
  • Increased feeling of heat to the skin being treated
  • Occasionally patients experience an itchy feeling

Expected treatment outcomes

Day 1

Immediately post-peel the patient leaves the clinic with the post-peel mask applied.  This is translucent and non-oily.  The skin will look slightly red for a couple of hours and will generally feel comfortable.  The patient should not touch the skin, apply any creams or use water on the face, and avoid extremes of heat exposure and sun exposure.

Day 2

The skin will begin to feel tight and the treatment creams recommended should be applied morning and night.  Sun protection of at least SPF 50 should be applied.

Day 3

Some pigmentation change may be noticed at this stage as the skin begins to dry and may start to flake. The treatment creams recommended should be used at least twice daily.

Days 4-7

The skin continues to peel and the healing process takes place.  The patient should continue with the recommended creams and sun protection. The patient should not attempt to peel off the skin or use abrasives, scrub creams or products containing AHA’s or retinol.

Day 8

The patient returns to the clinic for the next treatment. The complete course is ten weeks: four weeks of peels and six weeks of skin regeneration.  Some people require an additional two weeks of skin preparation.  It is advisable to review the patient following the course of treatment.


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